Posted February 11, 2009 4:57 pm by with 6 comments

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Facebook’s popular “25 Things About Me” meme  has gone viral and has even hit mainstream media (it’s in Time Magazine!). And since you have to have a Facebook account to participate, this simple request has driven a lot of new signups and traffic to the site.

Here’s how it works: you write 25 facts about yourself, post it on Facebook, and tag your Facebook friends so they could fill out 25 random things about themselves. Have you done it yet? If you don’t know how to tag someone, you learn.

It ended up being big – as in about 5 million of these have been written in just one week big. As a result we know far more about the minutia of each other’s lives than we ever did. I’ve known my cousin since we were born and I learned new trivia about her from this meme.

Sometimes in a complex world it’s refreshing when something so simple works so well. The universal appeal is that there’s a bit of peer pressure to do it since all of your friends are, and it’s not complex. says as a result of this meme: 60 percent more Facebook profiles were created in January than in December. Since it uses the “notes” feature, Compete says notes has gotten 4X the attention. And Facebook didn’t even start it.

25 is too many. So if everyone who reads this will please post 15random facts about themselves, we’ll get the Marketing Pilgrim meme going right away.

  • PS3

    I agree that 25 is far too many, if I had a friend requesting me to do something along those lines it would go straight to the bin. Must be working for Facebook though, since we are all talking about it.

  • This thing has certainly taken on a life of its own. I’ve been tagged I don’t know how many times by everyone from high school friends to current colleagues since it started. Luckily once you’ve completed the 25 things and are tagged by someone else, you can just go back into your notes and add that person to the list of those you’ve already tagged.

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  • Do I have to Facebook?

    Online Networking has reached epidemic proportions. I’m on Facebook for social networking, LinkedIn for business networking, and Sparkbliss for romantic networking. There are things I like and things I don’t, but what matters most to me is privacy.

    With Facebook, the proposition is join or seem aloof. Given its pervasive nature, forget about your privacy. When my friend Calvin asked if he should join Facebook, I put it this way “it depends if you want to fill up your inbox and then allocate the time to respond.” I added “expect everyone you have ever known from childhood to today to want to be friends and then ask you to join this, vote on this, attend this, play this, and so on.” He was deterred for now, but will succumb. Personally, I avoid being sucked into its online vortex. My approach is to log in about once a week, blindly accept friend invites from anybody and ignore everything else.

    LinkedIn offers an extremely productive tool for professional networking; it makes sense for anybody in any kind of business. I use my profile as a virtual public resume; I knowingly relinquish my privacy. However, I manage my account and maintain its content with great discretion. Instead of universally accepting every connection request, I qualify each one. The site offers powerful internal search capabilities and externally your profile is easily found by Google. The downside being savvy sales people will use this vast database to find you and sell you.

    While Sparkbliss is similar, it is focused upon romantic recommendations through your private network. You control who see your personal information; trusted friends and family screen for eligibility and make introductions. It is unique by its architecture, which places priority upon personal security and privacy. For example, a Sparkbliss profile can not be searched on the site internally or found externally by Google. This is an excellent alternative for people such as teachers who would rather avoid disclosing personal information on on the public Internet.

    While Facebook and LinkedIn pay lip-service to increasing default security and privacy settings, stricter measures would only stunt site growth. Don’t expect policies to change any time soon. Unfortunately, most users surrender control of their personal information without knowledge or consideration. Today, it is incumbent upon the individual to protect themselves.

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